Specials is the name of the book I chose to read for core. It was written by Scott Westerfeld and has 372 pages. I completed my book on December 9, 2008. I would classify the story as science fiction because it is set in the future. Specials is the third novel in the Uglies series and is a great book. It deals with the perception of physical beauty and self-discovery. Tally Youngblood is the protagonist of the story and a lot of the book deals with her battle in discovering who she is. In the city where Tally lives, she has become a part of an organization called Special Circumstances. Special Circumstances deals with threats to the city and their members are changed into walking weapons. Their bones are replaced with a ceramic mix that is virtually indestructible, their eyesight is improved, there teeth and nails replaced by a futuristic material that never breaks, and their muscles fine-tuned.
Tally and her best friend Shay are part of a special unit of Specials. They are called the Cutters, because they make their worlds clearer by cutting themselves. They are more ruthless than normal Specials and their teeth are filed down to razor points. But Tally hadn’t always wanted to be this way. Once she was an uglie, a normal teen girl who hadn’t undergone the surgery to change her physical appearance to the cities idea of pretty. Tally had ran away from the surgery and soon learned that they changed more than peoples appearance. She found refuge in a village set up out of town called the Smoke, where uglies hid from Special Circumstances. When uglies were transformed into pretties, they were given a lesion in the brain to make them docile and peaceful. She gave herself up to the pretty surgery so a friend of hers could test a cure on her for the brain lesion. After escaping from the pretty mindset, she was captured by Special Circumstances and transformed into a Special. Not only did they alter her body, they changed her mind, making her feel superior and causing her to have massive anger problems.
Tally had almost forgotten who she was before the surgery, that is until her new assignment is to destroy the New Smoke. She had been responsible for the down fall of her first refuge, the Smoke, back when she had still been an uglie. She and Shay set out to destroy the village, only to have Tally to discover that she might not want to destroy it. The book takes on a twist when it is discovered that the New Smoke is not a village, it is a whole city. The whole story is about the inner conflict between Tally’s heart and the changes made to her brain.
Tally Youngblood is my favorite character. I love how human she is. She makes mistakes, has regrets, and feels conflicted about who she is. Throughout the whole series you see her grow as a person. Some of her decisions made me so angry I almost stopped reading the series, but I’m glad I didn’t. She makes amends and feels guilty about the life she has led. I love how real Westerfeld makes her.
There wasn’t a single character I didn’t like in the story. They were all fully rounded characters with their own agendas. I enjoyed reading and learning about all of them and their conflicts with Tally.
I wouldn’t say that there was a specific trait in any of the characters I would want. Many are indecisive and that is a trait I already posses. Tally is conflicted about who she is and where she belongs and I feel like this already. I would say I’m already a lot like Tally.
Scott Westerfeld expresses a strong feeling about how society puts an emphasis on physical beauty. He also portrays a strong opinion on government censorship and control. The Special Circumstances represent the government and how they try to control and sensor the lives of others.
I love this whole series and I recommend it to everyone. The story is really deep but is written in a way that is not hard to understand. It is everything I expected and more.